NAS HDD review: 18 models compared

Which NAS HDD should you get?

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Analysis

There are four drives with a capacity of 3 TB: a Western Digital Red, Seagate NAS HDD, Seagate IronWolf and HGST Deskstar NAS. The prices of the first three are a lot alike (111 pounds / 128 euros to 114 pounds / 131 euros), while the HGST sets you back a bit more (119 pounds / 137 euros). Note that the two Seagate-drives are still faster than the HGST, despite their slower rotation speed. The Red is the slowest, but still we find it the best choice here. It might not be as fast as the Seagates, but more importantly it is inaudibly quiet.

With the 4 TB drives we compare five different models: a Seagate IronWolf and NAS HDD, HGST Deskstar NAS and a Western Digital Red and Red Pro. The WD Red Pro is the fastest when it comes to the operations it can perform, while the sequential speed of the IronWolf is higher. The price is of the Red Pro is slightly steep at 224 pounds / 259 euros. Out of the other drives (143 pounds / 165 euros to 152 pounds / 175 euros) the Seagates perform the best – the IronWolf is slightly faster than the IronWolf but also produces more noise. The Red is slightly quieter and more economic when it comes to power usage than the IronWolf, but the difference is a lot smaller than with the other drives. Considering the price difference we would recommend the IronWolf here.

Looking at the 6 TB drives, we see more of the same: the WD Red Pro performs the best when it comes to the amount of operations per second, while the Seagate IronWolf is faster. The WD Red comes in last in terms of performance. Again the Red Pro is the most expensive (it costs 276 pounds / 319 euros on average), while the Red costs slightly less (242 pounds / 279 euros) and the IronWolf is even cheaper (205 pounds / 236 euros). The IronWolf is faster, but noisier and consumes more power than the WD Red.

Moving on to the 8 TB drives, where there are four available on the market: the Western Digital Red 8 TB and three Seagate drives: the NAS HDD 8 TB, Enterprise NAS HDD 8 TB and IronWolf 8 TB. Here we see the same again: the Seagate is quite a bit faster, but at the same time a lot less quiet in idle and consumes more power. The Red performs excellent in terms of sound: it is by far the quietest product in the test in idle and with that a recommended drive. However, it is more expensive than the IronWolf: the Red costs 316 pounds / 365 euros on average, compared with 276 pounds / 318 euros for the IronWolf.

Last but certainly not least: the only 10 TB drive in the test, namely the Seagate IronWolf 10 TB. Not only is it quite fast, it is also relatively silent and economic when it comes to power usage, even when compared with other models in the same series. The price is surprisingly low as well: per gigabyte it barely costs more than the Reds with lower capacities.


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